The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows you to transfer all or some of your unused benefits to your spouse or dependent children. The military determines whether or not you can transfer benefits to your family. Once your service approves your eligibility to transfer your benefits, your dependents can apply for them through the VA.
Who Can Transfer Their GI Bill Benefits?
Any active military member who is eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill who has less than 16 years of service, and:
Has at least six years of service and agrees to serve an additional four years
Has at least ten years of service and can't commit to four more years because of the regulation (i.e. High Year Tenure, etc.)
You MUST transfer benefits while on active duty.
Who Can Receive Transferred GI Bill Benefits?
If you are eligible to transfer benefits, you can transfer them to:
The family member must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) at the time of transfer.
If your child gets married, it doesn't affect their eligibility for the transferred benefits.
If you get divorced, your ex-spouse can still use the transferred benefits.
You can take away or change the transferred benefits to any dependent at any time.
How to Transfer Your Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits
You can only apply to transfer benefits while on active duty; it is too late once you leave active duty. You should apply online at the DMDC Website or follow your service's instructions.
After leaving the military, you can change the amount of the GI Bill transferred to each dependent by contacting the VA.
Details On Using Transferred GI Bill Benefits
You can transfer any remaining portion of your GI Bill entitlement. If you haven't used any, you can transfer it all.
Pro-tip: While on active duty, you should give each of your dependents at least one month of transferred GI Bill; this gets them in the system. You can always add or subtract entitlement after you get out. But, if you don't add them into the system while you are on active duty (with at least one month of entitlement), you are out of luck later; you won't be able to add them.
May start to use their benefits immediately
May use their benefits while you are in service or after you get out
Can't get the monthly housing allowance while you are on active duty
If you leave the military before Jan. 1, 2013, they have 15 years from your discharge to use their benefits. If you get out after that, there is no time limit
May start to use their benefits only after you have completed at least ten years of service
May use their benefits while you are on active duty or after you get out
Can't use their benefits until they have a high-school diploma or certificate or they have turned 18
Can get the monthly housing allowance even though you are on active duty
Can only use the transferred benefits until they are 26 years old.